About Michael Tolosa

I'm a Washington, DC area native, who recently relocated to Charlotte, NC, where I work as a senior SEO manager for B2B technology companies. I love people, especially my family and church. You can find me on Twitter: @tolosaseo

Christian, Be Sure of Your Salvation!

by Michael Tolosa

On June 28, 1914, a young Serbian assassin walked out of a coffeehouse, pulled out his gun and shot into a car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne.

A month later, Austria declared war on Serbia. But because Serbia was allied with Russia, Russia joined the fight against Austria. However, Austria was an ally of Germany, so Germany declared war on Russia – and also France (for some reason). On the way to France, Germany invaded Belgium. Troubled by this, Great Britain declared war on Germany, and before long, most of Europe was embroiled in a fight that started with two relatively small countries.

The Great War (or World War I) lasted four and a half years, killing over 20 million people and wounding another 21 million.

On November 11, 1918, shortly after the United States entered the war, Germany was forced to surrender. An armistice had been declared. Armistice means an end to fighting – or truce. The fighting had ceased. There was peace.

The three most powerful Allied leaders from Great Britain, France, and the United States gathered at Versailles to decide on what penalties Germany, Austria and their allies would face. In addition to establishing a League or Nations, they carved up the map and redistributed the lands of the losing countries. They also came up with strict punishments specifically for Germany.

Germany had to give up huge amounts of its empire. They lost all their colonies. They were restricted to having an army no larger than one hundred thousand soldiers, only six battleships, and no air force or submarine fleet. They had to claim sole responsibility for the war (remember the whole thing started as a conflict between Serbia and Austria), and they had to pay over $32B in losses and damages to other countries. (Now remember, this was a hundred years ago. $32B was an overwhelming amount of money back then.)

The debt imposed on Germany made the country poorer and poorer, and its people more and more miserable. The crushing debt imposed on Germany destroyed their economy. Heck, they had to borrow money from American and British banks just to pay their debts to France and England! In a few years, the German people were desperate, fed up and willing to listen to anyone who promised revenge and a restoration of Germany’s former greatness. So when a young Austrian man named Adolf Hitler began calling for Germany’s return to glory, the people were eager to support him. They elected him as German Chancellor in 1932.

In September 1939 – roughly 20 years after the end of World War I – Germany started a second world war. This time roughly 70-85 million people died – four times that of the first war – about 3% of the world’s population. It was the deadliest military conflict in the history of the world.

So, despite the best efforts of Great Britain, France and the United States at the end of World War I, the peace they established was only temporary. While there may have been an armistice – an end of fighting, there was clearly no lasting peace or reconciliation between the two sides.

There’s a huge difference between armistice – an end to fighting – and reconciliation.

Which brings us to today’s passage.

If you would, please turn with me to the book of Romans chapter 5 verses 6-11. I’ll read it to you now…

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:6-11

Let’s pray…

Lord God Almighty,

We come to you today as former enemies who have been reconciled to You through Your great love and sacrifice. Lord, we praise you and thank you for that love.

Lord, help us to understand this passage in Romans. Speak through me, as I attempt to handle Your Word with accuracy and respect – and proclaim its meaning to the people in this room.

Give us ears to hear what You have to say through this passage. May we trust Your Word, believe it and apply it to our lives.

Thank you for bringing each individual here today. They are not here by accident. It was Your plan before the foundation of the world that they would be sitting here tonight to hear Your Word.

Speak to us now, I pray in Jesus’ name.


In our passage today, Paul gives the Roman believers hope that the peace we have in Christ is not just an armistice or temporary peace, but an everlasting peace and a total reconciliation between two former enemies.

We’re going to look at what Paul describes as the “weakness of man” and how, by dying for us “weak” sinners, Christ shows us his amazing love. We’ll look at why we can be sure of our salvation and rejoice because of it.

If you are in Christ, you can be sure of your salvation.

And I’m going to explain to you why. So, let’s dive right in and examine the weakness of man…

The Weakness of Man

First, look at how Paul describes us in verse 6… “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” In verse 8… “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And in verse 10… “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God…”

Why does Paul make a point to state that Christ died for us and reconciled us to God while we were still in a state of weakness, ungodliness, sinfulness, and animosity toward Him?

Let’s turn to Ephesians chapter 2, starting in verse 4…

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:4-9

Therefore, back to our passage in Romans chapter 5, the reason that Christ died for us while we were still weak, sinners, ungodly and enemies – while we were dead in our trespasses – is so that…

  1. God could demonstrate His love and grace, and
  2. He alone would get the glory.

Theologian R.C. Sproul said, “God did not wait for us to exercise our wills, incline ourselves to him, repent of our sins, or get ourselves in such a state that it would be appropriate to provide an atonement for us.”

The common theme between these passages is:  God acts when we are helpless.

If you are in Christ, you can be sure of your salvation, because it doesn’t depend on you. You were His enemy, and He saved you anyway.

Let’s keep going now and look at the love of Christ…

The Love of Christ

Verse 7: For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—

What’s he saying there? Is he contrasting two different types of persons – one righteous, the other good? Or is he just using repetition to make a point? He’s saying that you might know a righteous person who’s a total jerk, and you would scarcely die for him, but if he was both righteous and good, you might perhaps die for him. In either case, you would likely not die for a righteous or good man.

Verse 8: but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

If no one would die for a righteous or good person, you better be dang sure ain’t no one dying for a sinner.

But Christ did. Christ died for sinners like you and me. Why? Why did Christ die for us?

Remember what Ephesians says, “…so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (2:7).”

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)”

If you are in Christ, you can be sure of your salvation, because God is determined to demonstrate His love for you in this way.

Will God’s plan be thwarted by you or anyone else? No!

Let’s continue…

The Assurance of Salvation

Verse 9 and 10: Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Pay attention to these words: justified, saved, reconciled. There is a chain here – one leads to another.

First, let’s look at the word justified. It says that we have been justified by His blood. What does justified mean? It means to be declared righteous. We are declared righteous by His blood.

But in verse 10 it says we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. So at the death of His Son on the cross, two things happen: 1) we are justified, and 2) we are reconciled. What does reconcile mean? Well, it means that something has been exchanged. Our status has changed from being enemies of God to being His friends.

There is also an exchange that happens on the cross called imputation – big theology word there – imputation. As Jesus hung on that cross, our sins were imputed, or transferred, to Him, along with our “guilty” status. But in exchange, His righteousness and “not guilty” status was imputed or transferred to us. This reconciliation, or exchange of guilt status, is what justified us (or declared us righteous) and allowed Jesus to die in our place. God is just when He punishes Jesus for our sins, because Jesus took on our guilt – and the guilt of all He saved. And God is just in saving us, because we took on Christ’s righteousness.

In Romans 3:26, Paul says that God is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

Can God punish a righteous person? No, not if He’s just. Can He let an unrighteous person go unpunished? No, not if He’s just. In order for this whole salvation thing to work, God had to make His Son guilty and us righteous.

As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

So Jesus’ death accomplished two things: our justification and our reconciliation with God.

That was the hard part.

But now that we’ve been justified and reconciled, God will absolutely, 100% save you. Look at verse 10: For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

This is a no-brainer for Paul. Christ has already accomplished our justification and reconciliation with God. There is nothing keeping God’s wrath fixated on us. The next part is easy. Jesus took on our guilt and paid the penalty of our sin by dying on the cross. He defeated death, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. Victory has already been won for us!

Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

If you are in Christ, you can be sure of your salvation, because you have already been justified and reconciled with God. The rest is easy!

Christ has already done the hard part. Your debt has been paid. You are now friends with God. There is now nothing keeping you from being with God in Heaven. God will save you!

Christian, do you believe this?

If so, rejoice!

The Joy of Salvation

Verse 11: More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Joy is the natural response of those who believe they will be saved. Some of us Christians go through life anxious about whether we’re truly saved or not. We look at the sin in our lives and wonder, “Am I really saved? Could God forgive a wretched sinner like me?” Some of us think that assurance of salvation is presumptuous or arrogant. “How dare you presume that God will save you!” Well, it might be presumptuous if our salvation depended on our own ability to obey God and live a righteous life – which we fail at time and time again. But our salvation isn’t dependent on us – it’s dependent on the perfect obedience, goodness and righteousness of Christ that has been freely given to us. There is no one more trustworthy than God. So, if He says He will save you, believe it and rejoice!

If you are in Christ, you can be sure of your salvation, so rejoice!

R.C. Sproul once said, “There is no room for the sourpuss in the kingdom of God.” Do you know some sourpusses in the church? Christians with one setting – anger with what they perceive to be sin all around them in the world, but never in themselves? Or on the flip side, Christians who are so distraught with their own sin, that they won’t ever lift their head out of their hands and experience the joy of their salvation?

I don’t know if it’s a Baptist or Presbyterian thing, but some of us need to learn how to lift our arms and shout for joy once in a while – and not just while watching football! You notice how excited we get when our favorite sports team wins — when WVU beats Virginia Tech — or our child scores a goal during a school sporting event – or when our preferred political candidate wins an election? Can we not get excited that the God of the universe has saved us from eternal damnation?

Can I get an amen?

Can I get an amen with arms raised?

Okay, we’ll work on that.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

If you’re like me, and you have a tough time feeling and expressing joy, let me give you a great resource… You might want to write this down… It’s this book, the Bible. This book is made up of 66 smaller books. There’s a little book in here called Psalms. It’s a songbook made up of a bunch of songs written by King David, Moses and some other dudes. There are songs in here dealing with all sorts of emotions — anger, sorrow, confusion, impatience, praise and also joy.

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

“May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you, may those who love your salvation always say, the LORD be exalted!” (Psalm 40:16)

“Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous and praise his holy name.” (Psalm 97:12)

If you struggle showing your emotions, read and mediate on the Psalms.

So, in closing, if you are in Christ, you can be sure of your salvation because:

  1. It doesn’t depend on you.
  2. God is going to demonstrate His love for you in this way in order to glorify Himself.
  3. If you are in Christ, you have already been justified and reconciled to Him.

So, how does this apply to your life?

First of all, as it says in verse 11, rejoice! That’s the application. Rejoice!

Secondly, because God sacrificed His own Son for sinners, be willing to sacrifice everything that is dear to you for the salvation of others. Prioritize evangelism in your life, even if it costs you time, money, resources, your reputation… and even your very life. Those who remain God’s enemies will experience His wrath. They aren’t covered by the righteousness of Christ. Don’t hate them; don’t ignore them; have compassion for them! Sacrifice everything dear to you for the salvation of others.

Thirdly, you should seek reconciliation with your enemies. Sometimes that’s a neighbor or a coworker or relative, and sometimes it’s your own spouse or kids. When you get into a verbal fight with your spouse, do you just try to defuse the situation, postpone the conversation, and sweep it under the rug? If you postpone the argument for the sake of peace, then eventually forget about it, does it solve the problem? Or does it just implement a temporary armistice?

Seek reconciliation, not just an end to the fighting.

If God just wanted to end hostilities between us, He could have just wiped us out. But He didn’t just want an armistice. He wanted reconciliation.

Can you imagine if, at the end of World War I, after Germany had been burdened with an overwhelming $32B debt, if France or another Allied country stepped in and said, “Germany, don’t worry about the debt, we’ll pay it for you.” Do you think World War II would have happened? I don’t think so. I think there would have been reconciliation.

Well, that’s what Jesus did for us. We were burden with an unpayable debt, and Jesus stepped in and paid it for us. He took our punishment onto Himself.

Now, if you haven’t placed your faith in Jesus, this sermon doesn’t really apply. You can’t be sure of your salvation, if you remain an enemy of God. You may be feeling – right now, as you sit here tonight – the overwhelming burden of your sin debt. Maybe you’re not actively fighting against God in your life – and are in a time of armistice. But the burden of sin will drive us to do one of two things:

  1. Either you will be like Germany and become bitter and angry and desperate – and reengage in a fiercer battle with God. A battle you can never win, that will result in more casualties each time, or…
  2. That burden will bring you to your knees, begging for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Something God is freely offering to you today.

Where will you go with your burden of debt? My hope is that you will bend your knee to Christ and lay your burden at the cross.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Don’t delay or put this off. Go to God in prayer tonight, confess your sins to Him and beg Him to take this burden from you. Repent – or turn away – from your sins and follow Christ. Read God’s Word and submit to it in every area of your life. Make peace with God today.

If you have any questions about how to do all that, come see me after the service. Or let’s schedule some time to meet and talk about it. There’s nothing more important than your eternal destiny.

Let’s pray…

Dear God,

You are amazing. Your love is so great and beyond explanation. You figured out a way to save us, your rebellious creation.

I don’t know why you love us. There’s nothing lovely about us, other than the fact in some small way we bare your image.

Lord, we’re sorry for our sins. We’re sorry that everyday we still choose our sin over following You. But we trust You when You say that You will forgive us when we confess our sins to You. So we confess them to you now…

Lord, we trust You when You say that You will save us, because we trust Your Word. And You alone are trustworthy. But help our unbelief when we sin and feel ashamed and doubt our salvation. Help us to trust in Your love even when we don’t feel lovely or lovable.

Lord, if there’s anyone here today that is still your enemy, I ask that You would open their eyes to that fact and bring them to their knees in repentance. Show them Your glory and love and draw them to You today. Let them ask for Your Son’s righteousness, and transfer their sins to Him. Take their burden of debt from them. And give them a reason to rejoice.

Be with us now as we depart this place. Keep us safe as we drive home tonight.

May we be a witness to the world of Your justice and love. May we give all we have to seek the lost. May we pursue reconciliation with our enemies. And may we rejoice in your salvation.

We pray all of these things in Your Son Jesus’ precious and holy name.


Thank you all for coming. I really appreciate it. Peace be with you.

Conquering Fear on Halloween

An Interview with Evangelist Ray Comfort

By Michael Tolosa

Halloween is a time when our culture revels in the supernatural and embraces its fear of the darkness, monsters, and the dead. But while the world gets goosebumps watching scary movies and donning horrific costumes, some Christians get squeamish about something else entirely…evangelism.

Is it okay for me to participate in Halloween? What if someone asks me why I’m refraining? Should I tell them I’m a Christian? Should I hand out Gospel tracts instead of candy?

As Christians, we want to know how to engage in Halloween activities in a God-honoring way. We don’t want to come off as legalistic prudes, but we also don’t want to celebrate evil.

For more insight on this topic, I turned to Ray Comfort – a renowned Christian evangelist in California who has dedicated his life to street witnessing and teaching others to overcome their fear of evangelism. Ray is the founder and CEO of Living Waters, an organization that provides evangelism training and supplies to Christians who need help in this area of spiritual growth.

In the following interview, Ray attempts to explain the culture’s fascination with fear and provides helpful tips on how Christians can overcome their fear of evangelism and make use of Halloween as an opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ:

Halloween is a time when the world is fascinated with death and monsters and creepy things. Why do you think people enjoy being afraid?

Because they’re dumb! I mean seriously, my dad took me to a murder movie when I was about seven or eight, and I don’t know if I’ve ever recovered from that. I had nightmares for years. It’s silly to pour things into your soul – into your heart – that aren’t wholesome and good, because they’re gonna come back at you. Modern horror movies are horrific. Also the masks! When we give out tracts at our door at Halloween, it’s just horrible to see how people are delighted in that which is an absolute perversion of everything pure and good and nice and wonderful. But it’s just the way the world is.

The Bible speaks of us as being lovers of violence, loving darkness more than light, of drinking iniquity like water. So it really shouldn’t surprise us that the nature of man loves that which is evil.

I’ve often heard actors confess how they’re best at acting when they’re playing somebody evil. It’s like something they can boast about – being an axe murderer just comes naturally! And it certainly does, because the nature of man is evil, and we gravitate towards evil. And I find Halloween absolutely repulsive.

“The nature of man is evil, and we gravitate towards evil.” – @RayComfort

You talked about being afraid as a kid. What were some of the things that you were scared of as a child?

Well I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of heights. I’m fearful of death (when I was a kid). I was fearful of monsters, of nightmares, fearful of pain. I think when you start thinking about life, life really is very very fearful. We don’t know what’s coming up tomorrow. We don’t know when death is gonna come for us.

But we should never be afraid of fear, because fear is actually good. It’s a protector. I’m fearful of heights, so guess what? I don’t climb cliffs. I don’t climb mountains. And I say, “Thank you, Lord, for that fear.” It’s a common sensible fear. I’m fearful of monsters. I’m fearful of pit bulls that wanna rip me into shreds. Most of our fears are for our benefit. There are fears that have torment – that hinder us from doing what we should do for God. But I’m pleased that God has given us fear, because it is a great protector.

When I watch you share the Gospel – whether in one-on-one conversations or open air preaching – you seem so comfortable. As a seasoned evangelist do you ever get scared before engaging people with the Gospel?

Always. But when I’m weak then I’m strong. If I wasn’t fearful, I wouldn’t pray. I’d be confident. I’ve got the skills; I don’t need God’s help. When I get on my bike with my dog, he’s the best ever bait when I go fishing for men. Strangers come up to me and say, “Oh, I love your dog!” And suddenly I’ve got a friend because of the dog. Whenever I approach people, having my dog really helps.

Ray witnessing with his dog

But every Zacheus becomes a Goliath in a split second to me. I’ve got this fertile imagination. I can see a guy and I immediately know that he hates Christians. I can tell by his fists he just wants to kill a Christian. And it’s all imagination, so I have to push those thoughts aside like a firefighter. When he goes to a fire, he doesn’t listen to his fears. He thinks of the fate of those around him in the burning building. That’s my strong confidence – not to look to my fears, but to look to the fate of the ungodly – that drives me to reach out. I’ve gotta have confidence. I’ve gotta be like a firefighter. I’ve gotta have this courage that I muster. And that’s what we need to do as Christians. We have the power to do that, because of love. Perfect love casts out all fear. So when we get a grip of God’s love, then we can control our fears, and that’s what I have to do. I have to get a grip of myself everyday and say, “I will not fear. I will do what God’s called me to do.”

“If I wasn’t fearful, I wouldn’t pray.” – @RayComfort

Is fear ever a good thing for a Christian? What should Christians fear?

Christians should most of all fear God – and I don’t mean a reverential fear. The Bible speaks of a fear that causes trembling. When God gave his law to Moses, the Bible says so terrible was the site that Moses was exceedingly fearful and quaked – he shook. I know what that is ’cause I live in California and know what a good shake is. We should tremble at the fear of God. Scripture says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Now let me tell you what sort of fear I’m talking about. Jesus said, “Fear not him who has power to kill your body and afterwards do no more, but fear Him who has power to kill your body and cast your soul into hell.”

When I lived in New Zealand thirty-something years ago, the police didn’t have guns – they had sticks, batons. When someone was naughty, they would hit them rather than shoot them. When I came over here [to the States], I remember I was in Waikiki standing on a trash bin, preaching to a crowd of people. A police officer walked up to me, and the first thing I said to myself as I looked at him was, he’s got a gun. It’s all I could see. It was like he was approaching me with this great big cannon and, as a New Zealander, I didn’t say, “Hey, buddy – First Amendment rights. Do you want me to stand beside the trash bin or in the trash bin? But I’m gonna preach ’cause it’s my First Amendment right. You’re a servant of the people.” No, I didn’t say that. I just said, “Officer, want me to stop? Want me to move? What would you like? You’ve got a gun, and I don’t wanna be killed.” That’s more than a reverence for the police; that is a fear of what the police officer can do to me. He can put a bullet through my head if he so desires. If I move quickly – gonna give him a tract – he could just kill me ’cause he wants to get home at night.

Ray street preaching in the 1970s

So as I said that’s more than a reverential fear. It’s a fear of what he can do, and that’s what Jesus is saying: “Fear not him who has power to kill the body and afterwards do no more, but fear Him who has power to kill your body and cast your soul into hell.” That is a good fear. That is a fear of God which causes us to depart from evil, as Scripture says. That’s what keeps me keeps me from pornography. Pornography has an incredible attraction for every guy. We’re like moths to a flame. It’s instant pleasure. But I dare not, because I fear God. I know the eye of the Lord is in every place beholding the evil and the good, so I thank God for fear.

Let me give you a little quick story, if I may, about how fear did me a favor before I was a Christian. This was the fear of God. At 16 years old (I was saved at 22), I found myself in long grass at night with a pretty, young 16-year-old girl. She was gorgeous. I was behind a dancehall, and as I laid there, my intentions were not honorable. She said something to me that was like a bucket of ice water thrown from the heavens. She said 4 words – this is all she said – it put the fear of God in me. She said, “God is watching us.” I hadn’t been thinking about God; I’d been thinking about her. And immediately I just stood up and said, “Well, let’s go back inside to the dance.” I look back and I say thank God for your fear! Even six years before I was a Christian, I felt the fear of God, and it caused me to depart from doing something evil – from getting her pregnant, from shaming her family, from perhaps instigating an abortion. I don’t know what would have happened, but I look back and say thank you, Lord, for that fear and may I always have the fear of God that causes me to tremble at Your presence, to know your eye is in every place beholding the evil and the good.

So that fear is good. It’s wholesome. It’s great.

Getting back to Halloween, you called Halloween the International Day of Evangelism. Can you explain?

Yeah, when we came to the U.S. back in 1989, suddenly people are knocking on our door, wearing horrific occultic masks. What we did as a little family was turn the lights down, sit on the floor and just wait till it was all over. Then, one day, I got the revelation that I’m to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature – and strangers are coming to my door, knocking on it and wanting me to give them anything. So we got a whole stack of candy and a whole stack of tracts. I think 80 or 90 people came to our door that night and knocked. We opened our door to them. We didn’t go door knocking on their houses. So we put tracts and stuff into their little bag. I thought, what a wonderful opportunity that the world comes to us. I encourage every Christian to not partake in the evil of Halloween, but to use it as an evangelistic springboard to get the Gospel to those who mostly need it. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and so it’s International Evangelism Day.

“I encourage every Christian to not partake in the evil of #Halloween, but to use it as an evangelistic springboard to get the Gospel to those who mostly need it.” – @RayComfort

How do you engage the parents of the kids that come to your door?

I don’t usually engage them, because there’s people lining up to come to our door behind them. But we’ve got million dollar Gospels of John that look like a bundle of a million dollars. You could always give one of those to the parents and say, “When you’ve got a minute, you might like to read this.”

How would you recommend Christians incorporate these tracts – not just at Halloween but in their everyday lives?

If you can see the value of a tract, it’ll spur you to use it. A tract will speak only when the person wants to be spoken to. Often you’ll share the Gospel with someone, and they’ll be distracted and be looking around – their body language says they’re not interested – but they’ll read a tract when they’re interested.

The million dollar Gospel of John

Our tracts are so engaging; they’re so different. I remember when I first saw tracts back in the early 1970s, they were incredibly boring. It looked like someone had gone out of their way to have them put you to sleep. So what we try to do is make tracts attractive – make it so people can’t put them down. The million dollar bill is a great example. It looks like a million dollar bill. When we did the million dollar Gospel of John, I called my graphic artist and said, “Are you trying to get me put in jail? It looks too realistic!” And he said nothing in the artwork is real; it’s all just put together to look like it’s genuine. So our tracts look interesting. [When we give them out], people often come back and ask for more.

We’ve got the optical illusions where you actually see something that just doesn’t look real – one looks bigger than the other. We’ve got 101 of the World’s Funniest One Liners. Who’s not gonna want that? When someone’s standing in a store looking bored while they wait for a customer, you say, “Hey, this will break your boredom. It’s a hundred and one of the world’s funniest one liners.” And they really are funny, you know. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try skydiving. They really are witty little one liners, and the Gospel is right in the middle, so you have plenty of getaway time if you’re like me. They’re different. They’re wonderful. And we should make tracts part of our life. Always carry tracts. If I’d been God, I would have designed us like the kangaroo so we had a tract pouch. Always.

“A tract will speak only when the person wants to be spoken to.” – @RayComfort

You’re espousing the benefit of giving a tract even if you don’t have time to actually engage the person in conversation.

Sometimes we don’t. You’ve got bus stop evangelism. The bus is coming. This person is standing there. And you’re thinking, man, they’re going to hell if they die in their sins. You got 10 seconds, so what do you do? You say, “Did you get one of these? It’s a million dollar bill.” They’ll say, oh thank you; I can’t wait to get the change from this – or some witty little thing.

So tracts can be very beneficial. When you’re at the supermarket, give one to the checkout lady or checkout man, or just leave one on a shelf. There’s no law against leaving a tract on a shelf. You’re not stealing something. You’re giving something, and it’s incredibly beneficial.

For more information on Ray Comfort’s ministry, please visit the Living Waters website and check out the Halloween Outreach Box available in their online store.

Justice and Mercy

Cain and Abel

My 87-year-old aunt was attacked and beaten with a rock in her own driveway last night in Rupert, WV. She is recovering in a hospital in Charleston.

As I’m processing my anger, I’m reminded of how sin has ruined humanity. I’m reminded of how Cain murdered his brother back in the beginning of Genesis, and how — despite millennia of “progression” as a civilization — we have not progressed beyond our sinful natures. People are not basically good. We are born with a sinful desire to reject God’s rule over our lives and decide what is right for ourselves. We need new hearts and minds to submit ourselves to His rule — and these are things only God can give us.

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…”

Titus 3:3-5

As I pray for God’s righteous justice for my aunt’s attackers, I also pray for God’s mercy on all of us.